Dear Bates Families,

I am excited to announce that the Day of Play is just under two weeks away, on Wednesday, December 13!  

For new families, the Day of Play is a special tradition at Bates.  It 2014 we were inspired to have our first Day of Play after seeing the documentary Caine’s Arcade, the story of a nine-year-old boy whose cardboard arcade inspired the world.  If you have not yet seen this short video, I recommend you watch it: Caine’s Arcade.  Soon after the video’s release in 2012, the story of Caine’s Arcade quickly went viral and resulted in 750,000 kids in 70 countries taking part in the Global Cardboard Challenge and Day of Play.  We were amazed by this story of imagination and creativity and decided to launch our own Day or Play in 2014, calling it “The Magnificent Day of Play.”  On the Day of Play Bates students spend the entire day building anything they can imagine using cardboard, recycled materials and creativity.  

Preparations at School:

Starting next week we will help students prepare for the Day of Play as we:

  • watch the video of Caine’s Arcade
  • share and discuss stories of creativity, such as The Most Magnificent Thing, Rosie Revere Engineer, This is My Dollhouse and What To Do With a Box
  • share a five minute video by Kid President called How to Be an Inventor
  • ask students to use their sketchbooks to begin sketching possible creations
  • brainstorm ideas, gather materials and form partnerships if appropriate

This year students in grades K-2 will be encouraged to create anything.  Students in grades 3-5, who have at least three experiences with the Day of Play, will be given a design challenge this year: to make something that would benefit someone else.  We’d also like all students in grades 3-5 to work in partnerships or small groups.  Teachers will help students share ideas and form small groups based on the ideas they think they’d like to work on.  We hope these parameters will support students to develop their skills of creativity, collaboration, communication and problem solving.  

Preparations at Home:

We encourage families to help their child prepare for the Day of Play by collecting materials that students might want to use for a project.   Your child may already know what he wants to make or he may gather a variety of materials and decide what to make later.  Please consider collecting cardboard boxes of all sizes as well as other recyclables.  Students may bring in their materials starting on Monday, December 11 through the morning of Dec. 13.  Please bring materials in a brown paper bag with your child’s name on it and label larger boxes with your child’s name as well.  Children often share materials so a few extra materials may be helpful.  

Volunteering for the Day of Play:

We need many parent volunteers to support the Day of Play.   Volunteers are needed to help distribute supplies, assist with cutting cardboard and tape.  We ask parent volunteers to be a resource to the whole class rather than work directly with their own child.  This allows students to problem solve and collaborate with peers.

Volunteers are also needed to help clean up.  Our volunteers have made this day successful for our students and for our custodians!  Many hands definitely make light work, and I thank you in advance if you can stay until 12:15 or 12:30 to help clean up. Look for a volunteer sign-up link via email on Monday for all volunteer opportunities.  In the meantime, please mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 13 from 8:30 – 12:00 and consider volunteering if you are able.  Thank you.

Warm regards,

Toni Jolley


Upcoming dates:

Thursday, December 6                     Walk to School Day and Bates Spirit Day

Wednesday, December 13               The Day of Play

December 25 – January 1                 Year End Vacation

Tuesday, January 2                           School Resumes

The Day of Play

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